A presto pesto!

18 Sep

In an attempt to be more green, I have been desperately trying to grow a garden for the past two years.  However, my attempts have sadly been to no avail.  Last summer I was able to harvest 2 cherry tomatoes, 1 teeny tiny strawberry, and 1 banana pepper.  Pathetic, right?  This year was even worse, but at least I could blame it on the “drought” and the fact that I was too busy planning my wedding to have time to nurture the garden.  The only plant I managed to keep alive this time is my basil plant, which does not speak much to my green thumb as I heard that basil is the entry-level gardener’s plant.  But hey, it’s better than nothing right? Who needs chives, dill, green onions, or thyme? Basil is the king of herbs, the crème de la crème.  At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Pesto is a great way to use up all that extra basil we have in our gardens at the end of summer.  This recipe is simple yet delicious. Pesto is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, but I just use a food processor. It’s also easy to freeze.  Make the recipe sans the cheese and pour it into an ice-cube tray.  (My good friend Maddie claims that you can freeze the pesto sauce with the cheese and it is still wonderful, but I have not tried it this way). Leave it in the freezer overnight and transfer all the pesto cubes into a freezer bag to store.  When you want to have pesto later, just defrost and add the cheese.  One pesto cube makes one generous serving.

If you don’t have quite the amount of basil that the recipe calls for, don’t fret! You can use half the amount of basil and substitute the other half with parsley (I do this all the time).  You can also use almonds instead of pine nuts in a pinch, but I do suggest using blanched slivered almonds because the skins can cause the sauce to be a bit grainy.

Happy cooking!

Genoese Pesto
4 Servings

1 packed cup of basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp grated Pecorino cheese
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Pinch of salt

  1. Wash and dry the basil leaves and put them in a food processor with garlic and pine nuts.  Blend.
  2. Continue blending the ingredients, then add the grated cheeses and a pinch of salt.
  3. Slowly drizzle olive oil through the cover feeder until a smooth paste forms. It should be about a 1/3 of a cup, give or take.
  4. When using the pesto, be sure to dilute it with a few spoonfuls of the pasta cooking water.  I always add just a sprinkle of chili flakes to give it a little kick, but it’s certainly optional.

One Response to “A presto pesto!”


  1. Adventures in eating healthy | Chew me! - July 30, 2013

    […] Once you get all your spaghetti, you can toss the “noodles” in any kind of sauce.  I used my pesto! […]

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